Gaining a university degree right on your doorstep makes sense to business studies undergraduate Caitlyn Dunlop from Bangor, who has saved on fees and is enjoying a more supportive and relaxed university experience at South Eastern Regional College (@S_ERC).
Following her A levels, Caitlyn (21) progressed from Bangor Sixth Form Academy where she was Deputy Head Girl, to the Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) BA Business Studies degree at SERC’s Bangor Campus. She said,
“My brother went to SERC, so I was familiar with the College. I decided to have a look to see if there was anything similar to what I was interested in applying for on my UCAS form and shortly after that, SERC’s Janice Simpson, gave a talk at school on the degree programme and this helped confirm my decision to do the BA in Business Studies (now BSc Business Management) at SERC over a similar course at university. The clincher for me was that I would be getting a degree from Liverpool John Moores University, even closer to home and saving money. The fees are much less expensive than studying anywhere else.
She added, “It is proving to be the perfect option for me. I particularly enjoy the smaller classes and the style of teaching. You are not just a face in a hall and the smaller numbers allow for more open discussion and you soon get to know everyone on the course. I have made some fantastic friends on the course and even met my boyfriend in my class. I have found the tutors supportive and helpful and the atmosphere in the College relaxed and comfortable.
Speaking about the degree course, Caitlyn said,
“I would recommend coming to SERC for the degree. It is accredited by Liverpool John Moores University and the exact same content is delivered in SERC as in Liverpool. It is a degree, so there is plenty of work and you have to keep up the standard demanded to graduate. The modules and overall course content give a robust understanding of the pertinent areas of business today. To date, the study visits and guest speakers provide real world examples and experiences to support the theory.
“I don’t feel that you lose out on the ‘uni experience’ by completing your degree in SERC. If anything, because the classes are smaller, it was easier to make friends and my class often socialise together on nights out in Belfast or Bangor and everyone really enjoyed the course team building day at Palace Barracks. Plus there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in different aspects of the College through the very active Students’ Union. I was a Class Rep in second year which required me to represent the views and opinions of my fellow classmates and communicate back to the course tutors and the SERC Student Council. In this role I also attended Board of Study meetings with tutors from LJMU to feedback on the course.
Speaking about her plans for the future, Caitlyn said,
“I hope to move into employment after my degree and have already applied for several graduate positions. In the future, I might start my own business. No doubt, I will continue with some part time study to add to my qualifications. Learning doesn’t end with a degree, learning is life-long – that’s the ethos you pick up at SERC.”
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